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by Tim Beissmann

A strike at an exhaust system supplier in China has led to further production suspensions at two Honda vehicle assembly plants.

The first of 500 employees at the Foshan-based supplier downed tools during the Monday morning shift and were steadily joined by the remaining workforce by yesterday afternoon.

The strike follows similar industrial action by workers at one of Honda’s Chinese transmission factories last week, which brought vehicle production to a stand-still and ended with around 1900 employees receiving a pay raise.

One young worker at the exhaust supplier told the South China Morning Post that the success of last week’s strike was a motivating factor behind the current decision to down tools.

“If their strike hadn’t been successful, our workers here probably wouldn’t be as united as we are now,” the worker said.

The Foshan factory manufactures mufflers and other exhaust system products for Honda’s four Chinese vehicle assembly plants.

Honda spokeswoman, Natsuno Asanuma, said a shortage of parts meant production of Accord, Odyssey, City and Fit models (all for the domestic market) would be forced into hiatus as of today, with future plans still unclear.

“We’re hearing that the parts plant has started operating partially, but for Wednesday we are out of components,” Ms Asanuma said.

Government officials were onsite yesterday negotiating alongside management in an attempt to recommence production as soon as possible.

(with Reuters, first image courtesy AP)




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